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iRiver H120 with 80GB HDD guide

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
I can't be held responsible for any damage caused by this guide, I am dumb, neither can this forum be held responsible, so use your common sense with this guide. Isanggon (of Rockbox) is the first person to report successful use of the Toshiba 1.8" HDD1808 mk8025gal in the H120, so big thanks to him for being the pioneer and breathing new life into the H120. I also used it according to his information here: Possible ZIF to 1.8" IDE adapter! 100GB iriver H140?
new zif to cf(pata) convertor !!
And I wouldn't have been able to do this mod if not for the nice people (especially ej0rge!) at #rockbox-community in freenode IRC. Much of the information (the good bits) came from them, and no, I didn't use pliers this time!

Step #1, Things you will need:
1. Scissors, or something that can file cheap plastic.
2. DealExtreme: $2.86 IE-815 T5 x 40mm Screw Driver (2-Pack)
Torx t5 screwdriver to open the H120, you might already have one in your toolbox, if not you can get it from dealextreme for $3 or better yet get a screwdriver set, that website sells nice sets for low prices.
3. Toshiba mk8025gal HDD, they appear to go around $80-100 on ebay and is often out of stock.
4. Then you need to buy a ZIF to IDE adapter, and I am currently aware of four.
a. DealExtreme: $4.27 ZIF to 1.8-inch Bilateral IDE Hard Drive Converter
The cheapest by far and the only one I used, but is probably by far the hardest to work with but is possible with a lot of care. There are other dealers of this but this place is cheap too, if you like to be cautious, you might consider getting two just in case one is a dud (I was told this has happened before with this adapter) or you break a ZIF cable which is not too hard if you aren't extremely careful.
b. Festplattenadapter 1.8 Zoll an 2.5 IDE44 und 3.5 IDE40 - ES&S Oliver Reiners e.K.
The option that won't require any removal of rubber and is the easiest to work with, I heard the price is INSANE though but if you want the cleanest and quickest modding regardless of price this is the option.
c. ³ëÆ®ºÏ ÁÖº¯±â±â õ±¹ ³ëƮŷ
CANNOT BE BOUGHT OUTSIDE OF KOREA and costs $17, according to Isanggon it is much more reasonably priced than option "b" and only requires taking off an itty bit of the rubber that separates the battery and the HDD.
d. http://libmart.co.kr/mart/mall.php?c...y=view&no=4166
This one works out to be $25 USD, I have no idea how to go about ordering it since I can't read Korean and don't know if they sell outside of Korea. It looks to be very compact though and might be the best of all four options.
6. RockboxUtility < Main < TWiki
Free. Rockbox firmware to replace normal H120 software, I'm not sure if it's mandatory, it's kinda messy to install but is worth it I will hold your hand through installation.
7. http://www.iriverinc.com/download/H1...0(us)_V166.zip
Free. Original iRiver H120 firmware is required to be installed before using rockbox.
8. http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/dow...at32format.zip
Free. You need this to format the mk8025gal.

Step #2, stress ; [ This is assuming you chose to go with dealextreme.com's adapter:
1. Take out your ZIF to IDE adapter and you'll see two black plastic rectangles protruding from the sides of the IDE end of the adapter, file them down or cut them down at least 50% off, more is not necessary, and it is easy to cut so don't use too much force.

2. Put the H120 on HOLD. PLEASE PUT IT ON HOLD!

3. Look at the top of the H120, remove the 4 torx t5 screws, look at the bottom, remove those 4 torx t5 screws.

4. Gently wiggle the chrome caps off the mp3 player, a little bit on one side and a little bit on the other to loosen, they come out without forcing.
5. Open on the H120, gently, put both sides flat down and be careful not to tug the black and red cable at the bottom that connects to the battery.

6. You'll see a rectangular rubber covering the hard drive that cushions it from the battery, lift it off.
7. Very gently push the old HDD upwards out of the 44 pins, very gently lift the HDD above the rubber blocking its way and keep gently nudging the HDD out of the pins.
8. Remove that rubber that was blocking the top of the HDD as well as the "L" shaped rubber glued to it underneath it (see picture two steps above).
9. On the ZIF side of the ZIF to IDE adapter, lift up the black lever from the side, it should pivot so it is 90 degrees up at the middle of the beige thing.
10. Take the ZIF cable with blue on one end and white on the other end. Hold the cable so that the blue is facing up while the silver is facing down, insert the blue end into the ZIF to IDE adapter and pull the black lever back down over the cable. It should now be a strong hold, test it by tugging just a little to verify.
11. This is really weird so please be patient. Look at the new HDD with the sticker side facing up, you'll see this black line going across the middle of the beige thing of the HDD's ZIF connector. That black line is really amazing. Insert the white end of the ZIF cable into the new HDD, have the white side of the cable facing up, silver side down. You will notice the cable goes in only about the thickness of 1.5 credit cards and is extremely easy to pull out, this is normal. Now hold the ZIF cable and new HDD in this position with one hand, while with the fatty part of the thumb of the other hand, keep pulling the black line down towards the sticker part of the HDD. The black line will actually flip 90 degrees into the empty space between the sticker and the beige thing. If you managed not to move the white cable while doing this, it will be firmly in place, give it a tug to make sure.
12. Look between the silver part of the white end of the ZIF cable, you will see the 40 conductors can actually short out on the exterior of the new HDD! Take some tape, wrap it around the cable in order to cover the silver of the cable on the HDD side.

Step #3, more stress, testing it and setting up software:

Ignore the tape on the adapter over here, I put it on thinking it was necessary insulation but it is pointless to do but I'm too lazy to remove it. ALSO NOTICE THIS PICTURE SHOWS THE ZIF CABLE ALL CURLED UP BUT THAT COMES LATER. DO NOT DO THIS YET, KEEP THE CABLE STRAIGHT AND THE HDD OUTSIDE OF THE H120.

1. Just to make sure your adapter or new HDD aren't duds, turn the adapter so that you see the side with pin 1 written on it facing up and the ZIF end is on the underside, the adapter should be inserted into the IDE slot so that pin 1-6 do not go inside any of the 44 IDE pins found on the H120, or to make it simpler, you'll see a circle on one side of the 44 IDE pins on the H120, and an oval on the other side, pin 1 of the adapter should be at the circle side. The adapter should insert all the way in, as far as the old HDD did.
2. Make sure the HDD isn't touching any metal parts inside the mp3 player by separating it with a piece of paper. Make sure the battery has enough charge to last 2-3 hours, turn the mp3 player so you can see the screen, connect USB between the H120 and computer (optional: connect recharger to the mp3 player if you want to download music to H120 after this, takes ~1 hour for 35GB of files), turn off HOLD, power it on.
3. If all is working okay, go to Start>Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Computer Management>Storage>Disk Management (a shortcut: Click Start menu, select Run and enter diskmgmt.msc), and scroll down the list of "Disc 0, 1, 2, 3 etc" until you find something with 74GB of space. Right-click the 74GB drive and tell it to create a Simple Volume or something like that and choose to format as "MBR"... (hmm, can't remember, will resort to Ridgecrop Consultants Ltd ) and after that, click New Partition, choose which alphabet you want to give the new drive (I gave it "f") click next through the wizard until it shows the option to format to NTFS. Choose DO NOT FORMAT. Keep clicking next.
4. Download fat32format, #8 in list of things you need. Extract file into C drive. Click Start>Run, type in these things:

CD /D c:\
fat32format ?: ("?" being the alphabet that you assigned the mk8025gal)

Now type "y" to say yes and hit enter, BUT MAKE SURE THE ALPHABET YOU CHOOSE IS THE ONE MK8025GAL IS ASSIGNED TO. Don't format something else by accident. If all goes correctly you should be able to click "My Computer" and see the mk8025gal listed along with your computer hard drive, recovery drive, and removable drives.

5. Download and extract the .hex file into the mk8025gal, #7 in list of things you need. Download and run rockbox installer, #6 in list of things you need. Click complete install, when it asks for the .hex file, go into the mk8025gal and show that to it.
6. When everything is done and no problems arise, it will say to safely remove the usb blah blah blah lots of stuff to do. Disconnect the USB, power off the H120, power on the H120, and it should still be in the iRiver firmware and not rockbox firmware. Hold onto navigation button for 2 seconds, scroll down to "Firmware Upgrade", click navigation button on it, it will say "Are you sure?", use left or right direction until "Yes" is selected instead of "No", click navigation button again. Wait 1-2 minutes until it is finished, turn it off, turn it on and it should load in Rockbox.
7. (optional) My personal favorite theme for rockbox on my H120 is "ipodVOL". Scroll down to "Settings" and click it, go to Theme Settings, Themes, and choose ipodVOL.

Step #4, fitting in the HDD and closing her up:

1. This is how I did it, there might be other ways but I can't think of a better one right now. Keep in mind, YES, you are going to slightly tilt the 44 pins on the H120, so be extremely careful. First, take out the adapter from the H120. Now fold the ZIF cable the way I drew it, THE IMPORTANT THING is that you give the bottom curve enough length so that it can move along with the adapter into the 44 pins without bending excessively. Bend it too harshly and it will break. The bottom curve can take the pressure if you give it enough length, insert it very slowly and take care not to damage the 44 pins on the H120 by accidentally lifting it. As you can see from the picture, the adapter will be slightly sloping due to the ZIF cable and harddrive underneath it. You will have to slightly lift the adapter and at the same time slightly lift the mk8025gal onto the white circuit board platform right below the adapter. Then you will have enough space to close it up.

2. This is how flat it should be and the maximum of how far the HDD can stick out. You see the harddrive and ZIF cable sticking up a bit, but with the two pieces of rubber removed there is enough space to close it up easily. Because I removed those rubber pieces, it should have less impact resistance, if you really want more impact resistance you can intelligently carve the rubber pieces and place them back underneath and on top of the HDD, but I am too lazy for that and there's different ways you can do it so I'll let you decide, but certainly make sure the HDD exterior doesn't have direct contact on any of the electronic components underneath it, I have it sitting on the beige line-out and line-in area. Gently and slowly close the H120 and take care not to put too much force on the top curve of the ZIF cable, it doesn't have to close all the way, just enough to put the chrome caps back on. Turn off hold, turn it on, if everything is working fine, screw the 4 top and 4 bottom torx screws back on and have a nice day.
post #2 of 32
Could you please post pictures of the modified adapter and the ZIF HD connected to the adapter inside the iRiver H140? I think pictures can be very helpful. Thanks
post #3 of 32
Thread Starter 
Pictures posted. I was too lazy to take it all out but I think the only pictures I'm missing are the specific details of how the ZIF levers function, if anyone gets stuck on that I'll take it out and take pictures of that but I think my written instructions are enough. If you have trouble figuring it out (I did for over an hour), just remember the black levers are supposed to PIVOT 90 degrees. The ZIF to IDE adapter you put your fingernail underneath the black thing and lift it so it stands from the middle of the beige thing. The mk8025gal's ZIF drive, it comes brand new in the OPEN position, you can LOCK it by putting your thumbs over the black line and pulling it down, down towards the sticker on the HDD.
post #4 of 32
Has anyone menaged to fit that adapter (DealExtreme: $3.97 ZIF to 1.8-inch Bilateral IDE Hard Drive Converter) with Toshiba MK8025GAL and Cameron Sino 2200mAh battery (it's little thicker than stock) in H120?
post #5 of 32
Thread Starter 
Did you try removing the rectangular rubber piece from the H120? By removing that you have enough room for the mk8025gal and adapter, but I can't be certain about your battery, if I had to guess though I'd say it can fit, just be observant of the zif cable and not to break it while trying to fit and close the player.
post #6 of 32


i succeed in putting a toshiba mk1011gah with this zif(an-zif 219)in my iriver h140,now i just have an issue with rocbox

first of all i use fat32formatter,and after i try to use rocbox

i had an an old firmware 1,65eu,but when i try to upgrade there is nothig going on,i can'navigate in the folders ,


post #7 of 32
Thread Starter 

What do you see on the screen?


Did you try to hit the reset button on the bottom of the H140?

post #8 of 32

i try the reset button it's the same thing,i added some folders in the hard drive,but when i try  to navigate in,there is nothing,only appears a folder called d (folder i never create),after this i can t navigate anymore ,can't go to the menu,it' s bricked.

even when i succed in going to the menu in order to upgrade the firmware to rockbox it nothing going on upgrade screen does not appears.

post #9 of 32
Thread Starter 

When you turn on your H140, HOLD onto the center button for 3 seconds. By hold, I mean PRESS DOWN IN THE CENTER.


Question, do you see the rockbox logo when turning on the H140? Or the iRiver logo?

post #10 of 32

i just see the iriver logo,when i push the button in the center after turned it on i can go to the menu but ,when ichoose yes for the upgrade there is nothing no upgrade screen.

post #11 of 32
Thread Starter 

just fyi, the iriver software will not show flac files, it will be invisible. Are you sure you installed the iriver H120/H140 rockbox build and not some other build?


Take a look at the automatic install guide, I am thinking you didn't install rockbox correctly so the iriver software has nothing to update to. But please make sure you have the H120/H140 build, not the other 4 iriver builds. Putting in the wrong build can brick your iriver h140.



post #12 of 32

sorry i just install the current build,i patch the firmware,after when i say yes for the upgrade there is no screen of upgrading

post #13 of 32
Thread Starter 


Press and hold the Navi button to enter the main menu, and navigate to General Firmware Upgrade. Select Yes when asked to confirm if you want to upgrade the firmware. The Iriver will display a message indicating that the firmware update is in progress. Do not interrupt this process. When the firmware update is complete the player will turn itself off. (The update firmware process usually takes a minute or so.). You are now ready to go.


I am guessing you select yes, then it doesn't give you a message that the firmware is being updated?


Can you go back to the 40gb hard drive and try to update it to rockbox?'


If it works, I suggest trying to remove the rockbox in your 100gb hard drive, and reinstall it again.

post #14 of 32

there is something i can t understand,i try to record in iriver mode but it's written please wait hd full,my hard disc have much space

post #15 of 32

i just have another iriver h140 rockboxed, i copy and paste ,but still nothing there no screnn updating when i say yes it's a mystery why it does not happen?

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